Do students from open learning environments perceive advantages in distance learning during Corona-related school closures?

Author(s) Christoph Helm Sonja Lenz
Institution(s) Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz School of Education, Department of Education

Maybe further partner(s)

Cool Impulse Centre

Theoretical framework/approach The Corona pandemic led, among other things, to an exceptional situation due to the school closures, which confronted both teachers and students with new and largely unpredictable challenges. The first systematic overview of the state of research on teaching and learning processes in distance deducation by Helm, Huber & Loisinger (2021) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland shows that many surveys exist that examine the school situation during the Corona-related school closures. However, little research has been done which kind of learning environments, used before Corona, (positively) influence student learning during distance education in times of Covid-19. In the present project, we are investigating the effect of the open learning format "Cooperative Open Learning" (Cool) on student learning during the Corona-related school lockdowns. Cool represents a pedagogical school development project that focuses on student independence, student responsibility and student cooperation in lower and upper secondary schools. Central principles of Cool are based on the Dalton Plan education according to Helen Parkhurst. There are now almost 50 certified Cool schools in Austria. To answer our research question, we rely on the theoretical model on Corona-related distance education proposed by Helm et al. (2021). This model is mainly based on the supply-use model of Helmke (2003) and describes features of distance education and learning that are assumed to be particularly relevant for the learning process of students during school lockdown (e.g., parental support, technical equipment, independence and learning motivation of students, quality of distance education). We also refer to theoretical models of self-directed learning (Boekaerts et al. 2005).
Research questions
Do students from open learning environments – compared to students from traditional teaching – perceive advantages in distance learning during Corona-related school closures?
Themes / topics
Corona, Education, Cooperative Open Learning, Cool, Self-directed Learning
Main findings of study / highlights
Ongoing survey
Methods Quantitative Study
Analytic Appraoch Descriptive, explanatory
Desig of data collection
Online questionnaire, additional distribution via the Cool Impulse Centre
Time(s) of data collection April 2021
Kind of sampling, kind and number of sample
Austrian schools of secondary level 1 and 2 (middle school, lower and upper level of general secondary schools, vocational middle and higher schools e.g. HAS, HAK, FW, HLW, HTL and professional schools.
Geographical area Austria
Project website

Further information
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